J-Pop in J-Town

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The fifth annual J-Pop Summit Festival, a celebration of Japanese pop culture, was held July 27 and 28 in San Francisco Japantown. This year’s theme: “Make Kawaii Universal.” Above: An autograph and photo session with model Yuka and fashion designer Sebastian Masuda of 6% Dokidoki, a Harajuku concept shop. Masuda, who launched the Harajuku Kawaii Experience World Tour, was joined at the summit by Japan’s official ambassador of kawaii, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Entertainment on the Peace Plaza Stage included the Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass (pictured), Kylee, Sweety, Slime Girls, and Daichi.

Post Street, where New People (San Francisco’s J-pop center) is located, was closed to traffic and lined with vendors.

Members of the rock band LoVendoЯ (pronounced “Lavender”) performed and signed autographs.

Many participants dressed as their favorite anime, manga and video game characters, or in this case, as Hatsune Miku, a virtual singer with a computer-synthesized voice.

Representatives of AnimeiCon, a J-pop event that will be held in Monterey in October.

Above and below: A cosplay contest (pictured), a Vocaloid dance contest, a fashion contest and a Pocky-eating contest were held. Other events included a film festival at New People Cinema and a concert in Union Square.

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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